How to get more tattoo clients: The ultimate guide!

How to get more tattoo clients: The ultimate guide!

This has been the age-old question since the vikings raided North-Umbria: How to get more tattoo clients? OK, maybe it’s not the exact question that’s been floating around for the last hundred years, but you get the picture.

If you're struggling to stand out among a throng of tattoo shops, it's time to adopt a strategic approach. In this ultimate guide, we'll provide you with a step-by-step breakdown on how to attract more tattoo clients to your shop without resorting to industry jargon or over-complicated tactics. The road to increasing your appointment bookings begins here ⬇️.

19 Ways to Get More Tattoo Clients:

Create a Welcoming Environment

Your goal should be to create a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere the moment clients walk into your shop. If they feel intimidated when they stroll through those front doors, you’ll miss an opportunity to showcase your talent. Consider the color of your walls, the music you play, and the art on display to curate an authentic experience that aligns with your industry and resonates with your target clients.

Build Your Tattoo Brand

Consistency is key when it comes to building your brand. Whether it's on social media, your website, or in real life, the way you present your shop determines the type of clients you attract. Even if your shop features artists with various artistic niches, make sure your branding remains clear and consistent. Choose a memorable shop name, design a logo that encapsulates the vibe and feel of your brand, and strive for consistency across all touchpoints. You want potential clients to instantly recognize your brand and build trust over time.

Focus on Your Signature Style (by Saying No)

While having a shop with one signature style may be unlikely, it's essential to have artists who have honed in on their individual styles. To consistently fill your appointment schedule, you need artists who know their strengths and weaknesses. Encourage your artists to say no to potential clients if a tattoo falls outside their area of expertise. Being known as a shop with specialists is a good thing. Clients want to know that the artist tattooing their body has dedicated their career to mastering one discipline. Embrace your niche, and you'll attract clients who appreciate and value your shop's unique offerings.


Nail Your Portfolio

It's crucial for every artist in your shop to have an up-to-date portfolio that accurately represents their current work. Avoid relying on outdated photos from years ago. Spend time capturing high-quality images that showcase the intricacy and artistry of each piece. Lighting, angles, and clarity can make a significant difference in how your tattoos are perceived. Remember, even the most exceptional tattoo can look amateurish if not captured effectively. Present your portfolio online and offline to provide potential clients with a comprehensive view of your artists' skills.

Have a Clear Marketing Strategy

In the digital age, having an online presence is a must. However, it's essential to avoid spreading yourself too thin across numerous platforms. Select a couple of social media platforms that you enjoy and commit to a consistent posting schedule. Embrace progress over perfection and start building your shop's online visibility and reputation. Remember, if you don't start now, your shop and talent may go unnoticed. Craft a clear marketing strategy that aligns with your brand and target audience, and focus on engaging with your followers through compelling content and behind-the-scenes glimpses.

Leverage Social Media

With the convenience of smartphones, you can utilize social media platforms to showcase your art to potential clients. Instagram, in particular, offers a visually engaging space to share your work and build relationships with your audience. Encourage followers to like, comment, and share your posts. Share behind-the-scenes videos to provide a glimpse into the in-shop atmosphere. Support other tattoo artists and industry-related causes to foster a sense of community. Additionally, make sure to let your current and potential clients know how to book appointments with you through Instagram by incorporating booking links in your bio and posts.

Start with a Website

If your shop doesn't have a website, it's time to create one. A well-designed and informative website adds credibility to your brand and business, building trust and authority among potential clients. When people search for a tattoo artist, they often turn to online sources, including search engines and referrals. Having a web presence that showcases your work, provides contact information, and enables online scheduling is crucial for attracting clients. Aim for an updated portfolio page for each artist, a contact form, an embedded online booking page or link, testimonials with photos, and consistent branding that reflects your aesthetic. Purchase a branded URL to make your website easily accessible and professional.

Make the Move to Online Scheduling

If you're still relying on pen and paper or a mishmash of Instagram DMs, emails, and text messages to schedule tattoo appointments, it's time to embrace tattoo booking software. By offering online scheduling options through platforms like Instagram, Facebook, your website, and a dedicated online booking page, you provide clients with the flexibility and convenience to book appointments whenever it suits them. Streamline your scheduling process, reduce the chances of double bookings or no-shows, and ensure a smoother experience for both artists and clients.

We use Calendly in combination with Active Campaign to help our clients streamline their schedule online and reduce no-shows to a minimum. We find that 95% actually attend the intake appointment and a whopping 98% books a tattoo session during the intake appointment.


Cultivate Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

While you can't directly control word-of-mouth recommendations, you can encourage them by providing exceptional client experiences. Focus on delivering outstanding tattoo artistry and top-notch customer service. Ensure that every aspect of the tattoo appointment, from start to finish, exceeds client expectations. Positive experiences are likely to generate word-of-mouth recommendations and help your shop gain a strong reputation within your community.

Ask for Referrals

Don't be afraid to ask your clients for referrals. Reach out to the clients you genuinely enjoy working with and kindly request that they refer their friends to your shop. Consider offering incentives or rewards for clients who refer new customers to further encourage them to share the love. Selectively target clients who align with your ideal client profile and appreciate your unique artistic style.

Utilize Business Cards

While business cards have been declared dead numerous times, they still hold value, especially in face-to-face interactions. Carry around business cards or stickers with your shop's branding when attending conventions or networking events. These tangible representations of your brand and contact information make you memorable and provide a convenient way for potential clients to reach out to you.

Attend Conventions (When It's Safe)

Conventions offer valuable opportunities to network with other artists and build relationships. Focus on forming genuine connections rather than solely trying to grow your business. The tattoo industry thrives on recommendations, so developing relationships with other artists can benefit your shop. Explore collaborations with guest artists, potential referrals, and exposure to a broader client base. Conventions also attract tattoo enthusiasts who may be seeking new artists or inspiration for future tattoos.

Partner with a Cause

Make a positive impact in your community by partnering with a cause or charity that aligns with your values. Consider sponsoring local events or donating a portion of your shop's sales to support a cause you care about. Being a responsible and engaged member of your community enhances your reputation and fosters goodwill.

Develop a Client Communication Strategy

Examine your client communication strategy from the moment they book an appointment until they leave a review. Identify any shortcomings and strive for a seamless experience. Put yourself in your clients' shoes and evaluate the booking process to ensure it's easy and straightforward. Effective client communication is key to attracting and retaining more tattoo clients.

Embrace Digital Solutions

Transition from traditional pen-and-paper methods to digital tools that streamline your scheduling process. Booking apps and software provide organization, upfront payment options, and convenience for both you and your clients. Clients can book appointments online without the need for creating accounts, receive automated reminders, and easily reschedule if needed. By adopting digital solutions, you can focus more on attracting new clients instead of chasing after existing ones.

Automate Appointment Reminders

Reduce no-shows and last-minute cancellations by implementing automated appointment reminders. Email and text reminders can help clients remember their scheduled appointments and provide them with an opportunity to reschedule if necessary. By automating reminders, you can save time and ensure a more efficient operation.

Encourage Reviews

Positive reviews play a vital role in attracting new clients. Ask your satisfied clients to leave reviews on platforms such as Google or tag your shop in their Instagram posts. Testimonials with accompanying photos on your website can also help build credibility. Remember that people are more likely to leave a review for a negative experience, so it's important to actively encourage your happy clients to share their positive experiences.


Update Your Public Profiles

Regularly update your public profiles, including your website, social media accounts, and online directories. Outdated information can lead potential clients to believe you're no longer active or available. Take the time each week to post engaging content on your social media platforms and interact with your community. Social media is all about being social, so engage with your followers, respond to comments, and stay connected with your audience.

Continuously Learn and Stay Informed

As a tattoo artist and shop owner, it's crucial to stay up to date with industry updates, techniques, equipment, and emerging trends. Continuously educate yourself and your team to attract fresh clientele. Stay informed about upcoming brands, vendors, and artists on the rise. Maintain a sense of excitement and curiosity to remain at the forefront of the industry.


By implementing these strategies, you can increase your visibility, attract more tattoo clients, and create a thriving tattoo shop that stands out from the competition. Remember this takes time and effort to achieve. Make a well thought through choice if you want to do all this yourself or get some help along the way.

We're always here for you with our free and 'no stings attached' marketing strategy session. Just book your time slot here and we'll help you with innovative ideas!


About the author
Buck, co-owner and founding beard of SocialBeards, specializes in conducting online marketing for tattooshops and artists."Together with the SocialBeards team of experts we make sure you get more clients, revenue, reach and are able to expand your name with strong and professional marketing. We've specialized our techniques to fit seamlessly to attract the 'tattoo minded' audience to your shop" - Buck
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